Maplewood’s Tina Kelley Debuts ‘Breaking Barriers’ With Virtual Words Bookstore Event June 29

by The Village Green
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Maplewood’s own prolific award-winning author Tina Kelley will be debuting her new book Breaking Barriers: How P-TECH Schools Create a Pathway From High School to College to Career with a virtual Words Bookstore event on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. Register here.

Breaking Barriers was written with Stanley S. Litow.

Breaking Barriers shows how to redesign high schools so that all students can move on to college and successful careers. In a negation of the American Dream, a child’s zip code is currently a far better predictor of success than hard work, intelligence, or resilience. This book tells the story of a school model that focuses on equity and works to prove that all young people can achieve academic excellence given the right support. P-TECH (Pathways in Technology Early College High School) combines public high schools and community colleges in partnership with employers, providing both opportunity and support for all students. This innovative and effective approach eliminates barriers to replication by engaging all stakeholders. The first P-TECH, which opened in a low-income Brooklyn neighborhood, is now a model for school reform. Praised by President Obama and heads of nations, its story is told through the voices of students who have shattered the myths about which students can succeed.

From Smith Publicity:

The need for equity in education has become more and more glaringly obvious — especially in the pandemic’s aftermath. But every child given the right opportunity and support can achieve if the barriers are removed. The P-TECH (Pathways in Technology Early College High School) model makes this possible, allowing students to earn a free associate degree with entry to a career in a high-growth field. In Breaking Barriers: How P-TECH Schools Create a Pathway From High School to College to Career (Teachers College Press; June 25, 2021) authors Stanley S. Litow and Tina Kelley tackle this critical issue and outline a clear course that can set students across the United States and around the world up for success. 

Breaking Barriers demonstrates how to redesign high schools so that all students can move on to college and successful careers. In a negation of the American Dream, a child’s zip code is currently a far better predictor of success than hard work, intelligence, or resilience. This book tells the story of a transformative school model that focuses on equity and works to prove that all young people, given the right support, can achieve academic excellence, a valuable post-secondary credential, and a route to a career with high-growth potential, all at virtually no cost to school districts. 

The P-TECH model combines public high schools and community colleges in partnership with employers, providing both opportunity and support for all students. In P-TECH schools, students earn a high school diploma, an associate degree, and relevant work experience in a high-growth field. This innovative and effective approach eliminates barriers to replication by engaging all stakeholders. The first P-TECH, which opened in a low-income Brooklyn neighborhood ten years ago, is now a model for school reform. Praised by President Obama and heads of nations, the model has shattered the myths about which students can succeed. Its story is told through the voices of its students.

Breaking Barriers highlights:

  • P-TECH is a successful school reform model that is operating in 240 schools across 12 states and 28 countries, in coordination with such industry partners as IBM, Thomson Reuters, and American Airlines.
  • High expectations for students, and a focus on equity, lead directly to success.
  • Engaging and involving all stakeholders in school reform creates partners instead of adversaries.
  • The model tackles thorny issues like the opportunity and achievement gaps, dismal college completion rates, college debt, income inequality, and the need for skilled, diverse STEM employees.
  • Success in a single school has become the linchpin behind a reform movement, because the key barriers to replication were removed in its very design.

Breaking Barriers is a compelling read. It shows that a clear pathway from school, to college, to career goes beyond an aspiration―it’s achievable, and for all students. The global success of P-TECH schools is something education, government, and business leaders need to learn about and get behind.” Arne Duncan, former United States Secretary of Education

About the Authors:

Stanley S. Litow is Professor of the Practice at Duke University where he also served as Innovator in Residence. He also teaches at Columbia University. He is a trustee of the State University of New York and serves as an opinion columnist at Barron’s. He previously served as deputy chancellor of schools for New York City and as president of the IBM Foundation and vice president of Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs at IBM. At IBM, he helped create Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH), the innovative grade 9 to 14 school connecting school to college to career. He also created the IBM Corporate Service Corps, the private-sector version of the Peace Corps, and the Smarter Cities Challenge to improve how more than 100 cities globally serve their citizens. In addition, he helped develop a virtual supercomputer to aid in research on cancer and AIDS. As deputy schools chancellor, he assisted in the creation of multiple new small high schools. Previously, he served in the mayor’s office in New York City as executive director of the New York City Urban Corps and as the founder and executive director of Interface, a think tank and advocacy organization. He has served on Presidential Commissions for two U.S. presidents and on numerous commissions for the governor of New York. He is the author of The Challenge for Business and Society: From Risk to Reward

Tina Kelley is the coauthor of Almost Home: Helping Kids Move from Homelessness to Hope, a national bestseller published by Wiley/Turner in 2012. She was a reporter at The New York Times for a decade, where she was part of the Metro team that won a 2002 Pulitzer Prize in the Public Service category for coverage of the September 11 attacks. She wrote 121 “Portraits of Grief,” which were short descriptions of the victims. Her articles have also appeared in TheAtlantic.com, New Jersey Monthly, Orion, and People magazines. During her 20-year news- paper career, she worked at The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Seattle Times, and The Seattle Post-Intelligencer. She also worked with Mr. Litow at the Educational Priorities Panel, writing investigative reports as part of the coalition’s efforts to reform the New York City public school system. A graduate of Yale University, she and her husband live in New Jersey and have two children. She is the author of four books of poetry, Rise Wildly (2020) and Abloom & Awry (2017) from CavanKerry Press, and from Word Press, Precise (2013) and The Gospel of Galore (2003), which won a Washington State Book Award. Her poems have appeared in Audubon, the Journal of the American Medical Association, Poetry Northwest, Prairie Schooner, The Best American Poetry 2009, and on the buses of Seattle, WA. 

Breaking Barriers will be released on June 25, 2021 and is available on Amazon, Teachers College Press, and everywhere books are sold (including Words Maplewood!)

 

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